Forensic Consulting Services

VERTEX is a premier construction claims firm serving contractors, owners, sureties, and insurance carriers on all types of projects from infrastructure to vertical construction. Our claims analysis generally involves an entitlement review, forensic scheduling to identify delay components, damage calculations, and fault allocation analysis.

Entitlement Review

VERTEX’s claim process starts with an entitlement analysis, which requires a review of contract documents, site specifications, construction schedules, and contemporaneous correspondence. In addition, VERTEX typically interviews key personnel to increase our understanding of the facts. VERTEX then determines they nature of the claim issue, whether it involves: Productivity; Acceleration; Differing Site Conditions; Added Scope / Quantum Meruit; Maladministration; Force Majeure; or any other number of claim categories. Once VERTEX has a complete understanding of the facts we offer our support-based opinions.

Damage Calculation

Once VERTEX completes its entitlement review and forensic scheduling evaluation, we move on to our damages analysis. VERTEX draws upon construction cost data from our portfolio of thousands of construction projects, industry standard construction cost data from various software providers such as RSMeans and Xactimate, subcontractor and vendor quotes on certain divisions of work, and actual cost data work already performed. We are experts in providing actual cost claims, estimated cost claims, and total/modified cost claims.

Forensic Scheduling

Many construction claims involve delay damage components. Therefore, VERTEX’s team of forensic schedulers are experts in the use of scheduling software that is commonly used on construction projects. We use this expertise, coupled with our real-world construction experience, to identify durational impacts that caused financial impacts to our clients. Scheduling impacts are often included in claims that involve: Productivity; Acceleration; Differing Site Conditions; Added Scope / Quantum Meruit; Maladministration; Force Majeure; or any other claim categories.

Fault Allocation

In certain instances VERTEX is asked to provide fault allocation opinions once we complete our claim review. In these instances, VERTEX reviews the issues, identifies the duties of the various parties involved in the design and construction of the project, assigns an initial responsibility, and then adjusts the fault allocation to account for patent conditions and follow-up work that covered up defective work, if appropriate.

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Key Personnel

Executive Vice President, Surety

Diana Minchella

Diana Minchella

As an Executive Vice President for VERTEX, Diana Minchella manages the surety claims consulting division nationwide. Ms. Minchella has a strong background in investigating and analyzing construction claims for contractors, owners, sureties and insurance carriers on a variety of projects including commercial, municipal, healthcare, transportation, wastewater treatment and solar facilities. Ms. Minchella has the experience and capabilities to review and defend against construction claims as well as to prepare affirmative claims. Her claims experience has involved construction delays, design defects, owner-initiated changes, unanticipated weather, differing site conditions, disruption, and defective work. As a claims consultant, Ms. Minchella has experience in analyzing schedules and calculating damages.

Ms. Minchella also has a strong background in construction management and civil engineering with an emphasis in structural engineering. As a project manager with VERTEX, Ms. Minchella has provided construction management and consulting services on numerous multi-million-dollar projects throughout the northeast. Many of these projects were distressed and required Ms. Minchella’s experience and leadership to bring the projects to completion. Ms. Minchella is a respected consultant in the surety claims industry.

Executive Vice President, Litigation Support

Ryan Phillips

Ryan Phillips

Ryan Phillips has over a decade of construction management and construction claim experience in the Rocky Mountain Region. Specific expertise includes: surety consulting and project completion, owner’s representation, construction oversight, construction claim analysis and preparation, construction defect cost estimating, liability review for construction defect matters, construction bid package preparation, and cost to complete preparation. As the Executive Vice President of Litigation Support, Mr. Phillips oversees contract claims and other legal consulting requiring environmental, engineering and construction expertise. 

Chief Executive Officer

Bill McConnell, PE, JD, MSCE, CDT

Bill McConnell, PE, JD, MSCE, CDT

Bill McConnell is a co-founder and CEO of The Vertex Companies, Inc. Bill has a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Maine, a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Denver, a Master of Science degree from Columbia University, and he is working towards his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Colorado (anticipated graduation in May-2019). Bill also completed a part-time three-year business program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Bill has worked in the construction industry for nearly his entire life. He rose through the ranks from a union construction worker during high school and college summers, to a project engineer at a top 50 construction company, to a senior executive at VERTEX. In addition, Bill is a top expert witness for construction disputes as he has testified over 150 times, most notably for cost and/or standard of care opinions. In addition, many construction, engineering, and law organizations have published his articles and reports over the past two decades. As the CEO of VERTEX, Bill sets the strategy for VERTEX’s future.

News

VERTEX Offers 3-Day Basic Consultant Methamphetamine-affected Property Initial Training

November 5, 2018

VERTEX’s Thomas Koch, CIH, MEPM, Vice President of Industrial Hygiene/EHS Services will be leading a 3-Day Basic Consultant Methamphetamine-affected Property Initial Training on November 27th to 29th, 2018 in our Denver office. This 3-day training course will cover topics about meth-affected property as well as an overview of related statutes and regulations. We will also discuss…

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VERTEX's Mark Degenaars to Speak at Women in Construction Conference

October 19, 2018

VERTEX is proud to be a Silver Sponsor of the Women in Construction Conference in Washington, D.C. on October 19th. To help women in architecture, engineering, construction, the trades, real estate, lawyers, and consultants build skills and develop relationships that will help both their firms and themselves in their continued success, an annual conference is organized with…

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VERTEX Sponsors Bisnow Denver’s New Construction and Development Forum

October 17, 2018

  Join VERTEX Engineers, Construction Experts, and Environmental Scientists at Bisnow Denver’s New Construction and Development Forum on Tuesday, October 30th at 7:30am.  Get 20% off your registration with our discount code: VCSD20ZERS. What you’ll learn: 1) Construction costs are rising, materials are expensive and the labor shortage is real. What are the viable solutions (in the foreseeable future) to a…

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VERTEX to Co-Host CDLA CLE Event with Exponent

October 3, 2018

In conjunction with the Colorado Defense Lawyers Association (CDLA), VERTEX is co-hosting a CLE event with Exponent on Thursday, November 1st at Union Station Denver. VERTEX’s Ryan Phillips will be presenting on “Cost Estimating Basics in Construction Defect Matters – Best Practices and Key Considerations” at 3pm. Join our engineers and experts for an afternoon of CLE…

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VERTEX se ha asociado con la Universidad de Colorado en Denver

September 28, 2018

VERTEX se ha asociado con la Universidad de Colorado en Denver para promover estudios de postgrado y doctorados con el fin de mejorar el desarrollo profesional de nuestros empleados. VERTEX continúa diferenciándose de otras compañías de AEC al expandir VERTEX U, una plataforma interna de desarrollo profesional, a través de una asociación con la Universidad…

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Blog

The Implications of Pacing Delays for Construction Projects

September 26, 2018

What is a pacing delay? A contractor may slow its pace of work after identifying forthcoming owner-caused delays to the critical path. Similarly, an owner may decide to decelerate its rate of production for tasks it is responsible for on the project if it foresees critical path delays which are the fault of the contractor….

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The Challenge of Proving Causation in Construction Productivity Claims

September 20, 2018

  What are construction productivity claims?  Construction productivity claims usually involve a contractor’s argument that the actions or inactions of a project party have adversely affected its productivity rate. A claim analyst must gain a thorough understanding of the consequences of those actions or inactions as well as insight into the circumstances under which the…

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The Main Shortcomings of Construction Schedules Obstructing Proper Delay Analyses

July 19, 2018

What are the indications a schedule is not well-developed, especially for use in construction delay analyses? Although many things can hamper a delay analysis, schedule quality concerns are of particular significance. Below is a brief list of issues commonly used to discount the credibility of construction schedules in delay analyses. Since criticisms used to deride…

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10 Steps to Performing a Construction Delay Analysis without a Project Schedule

July 17, 2018

Contractors frequently come to us to help prepare a delay claim in order to recover damages allegedly caused by an owner or subcontractor on a construction project. Not so frequently, they inform us there isn’t a formal project schedule or any updates that would normally be used to demonstrate the claimed schedule impact. While not…

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The Eichleay Formula and Delay Claims – What You Need to Know

June 8, 2018

In addition to project-specific costs, contractors rely on project revenue to support, or “absorb”, their home office general and administrative (G&A) costs. If project duration increases but the associated revenue does not, the same amount of revenue must be stretched even further. As a result, when a contractor submits a delay claim for an event…

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